Antec branched out into several new product categories and launched soundscience, a wholly-owned subsidiary dedicated to the creation of audio- and video-enabled lifestyle products and accessories for PCs and other home entertainment devices. One of the product classes in Antec's soundscience unit is the bias lighting, basically a strip of white LEDs that promises to enhance your picture quality and viewing comfort.
The product is available in two different versions; the halo 6 LED bias lighting kit for any monitor of up to 24" in size, and the HDTV Bias Lighting Kit for TVs of up to 60" in size. In this review I'm taking a look at the PC version, which ships in a surprisingly small cardboard box.
The purpose of this lighting kit is to improve your viewing comfort in dark environments. The theory behind this is that by adding a subtle white backlight to your monitor, you can reduce eye fatigue and enhance color definition to make blacks appear blacker and colors more vibrant. Some HDTVs like Philips' Ambilight lineup include this by default, but on computer screens this technology is rarely found so Antec and a bunch of other companies have developed backlight products for computer monitors.
Requirements: LCD monitor up to 24" in size placed against light
colored wall; available USB port or powered USB hub
Certifications/Safety: CE, RoHS
Unit Dimensions: Cable: 4'3" / 1300 mm, Light Strip: 14.6" / 370 mm
Net Weight: 1.0 oz / 28.3 g
Product Warranty: 2 years
The kit consists of a 37cm long, flexible plastic strip with six bright white LEDs and a 1.3m long USB cable. There's no documentation included with the bundle but two scissor signs on the strip suggest you can cut pieces off the strip if it's too long for your intended application.
The installation of the halo 6 LED bias lighting kit is very easy, just plug it into a USB port and peel off the paper from the double-sided tape to stick it horizontally to the back of your LCD display. The only downside is that this is for single application only, but by using some pieces of translucent tape you should be able to reuse the strip. For the best effect, Antec recommends to use the strip on screens placed against light colored walls.
Besides for providing a backlight for your LCD display, the LED bias lighting kit also has lots of other applications. For instance, you could use this strip to add some extra light inside your PC case, or to add some light to your desk.
The in-line power switch lets you switch the LEDs on/off.
After using the lighting kit for a couple of days I can confirm that it indeed improves viewing comfort, the LEDs help to reduce eye strain and as an added bonus I also found the extra light quite handy to find things on my desk more quickly without having to turn the main light on. One minor issue I noticed is that the adhesive is a bit too weak, just the weight of the USB cable pulling on it can cause it to peel away.
Whether you're a gamer or someone who works all night behind a computer, the halo 6 LED lighting kit adds more light to create a more comfortable viewing experience and helps to reduce eye fatigue. You can find the Halo 6 LED bias lighting kit online for under $8.
The Good Stuff
Reduces eye fatigue.
Easy to install.
Lots of different applications.
The Bad Stuff
Brightness is not adjustable.
The adhesive is a bit too weak
DV Hardware awards the Antec soundscience halo 6 LED bias lighting kit with a 8/10.